After an individual has made proper presentment of his or her claims to a health care provider pursuant to 60L (as discussed previously), the individual may file a claim in the proper court in Massachusetts. Once litigation has commenced a Plaintiff has an additional burden to overcome before the case may proceed on its merits: the medical malpractice tribunal.
Under Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 231, § 60B, any time an action is commenced against a health care provider for malpractice, error or mistake, the parties will be required to go before a tribunal consisting of a Judge, a health care provider in the same field as the Defendant, and a lawyer licensed to practice in Massachusetts. At the tribunal, the Plaintiff will provide an offer of proof for the tribunal members to determine if there is sufficient evidence to raise a legitimate question as to the liability of the health care provider or if the case is merely an unfortunate medical result. The Plaintiff is required to produce an offer of proof (a written document) that contains substantial evidence that the Defendant:
- is a provider of health care,
- who deviated from the applicable duty of care owed to the Plaintiff,
- thereby causing damage to the Plaintiff. Continue reading →